Terminating employment before end of term.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Terminating employment before end of term.

I recently took a promotion that involved a relocation to Hawaii. The terms of the relocation was that I would work here for 2 years or I would have to pay them back the 5k they gave me for the move. Due to many hardships that I have encountered here I can no longer stay. If I leave and go back, can they come after me if my employment is terminated? And what can they require me to pay? Like will they take my paycheck from my new employer? How can they do that?

Asked on July 21, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) If you agreed to the repayment of the relocation costs if you did not work them for 2 years, then if you leave early, they can sue you for the $5k (if you don't pay it voluntarily, that is): you can be held to the terms of the agreement.
2) Your hardships do not matter: the company can hold you to your agreement regardless of your reasons for moving back early.
3) They can't automatically take your paycheck from the new employer, but as stated, they can sue you. If they sue and win (which they presumably will if you breached the agreement) and you don't pay, they could then get a court order to garnish, or take, part of your wages (to have the new employer pay part of your wages to the old employer) until the amount you owe is paid off.

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